Apple Dust

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One of the top new stories in the tech world lately has been the launch of the iPhone 5c and 5s.  Many of us have updated our mobile devices to iOS 7.  I haven’t upgraded my phone yet because with the update I feel like I already own a new one.  I was excited for the update and I enjoyed exploring my devices afterwards.  Several years ago, I would have never thought I would even care.  I used to make fun of the iPhone commercials that said “If you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have an iPhone”.  I responded by saying yep, I sure don’t and I never will.  Now here I am typing on a MacBook Air with an iPhone beside me and an iPad at home.  Oh brother.  I used to have a simple cell phone, no smart plan, and a desktop.  You may be wondering why I am bringing this up.

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We hear so many negative things about technology:  how it affects our attention span, takes all of our time, causes stress (you should have seen me when I first set up my Mac) and is costly of course.  I want to write about the good things it has done for me.

First of all, being a full time caregiver of two adult sons, I am home a lot.  I have been out of the career field for some time and do not have much of a social life.  I used to think Facebook was stupid and at certain moments I still do (some things people share are ridiculous), but it keeps me in touch with what everyone is doing and sadly is the only way I can get a hold of some people.  Same thing with Twitter.  I used to ask myself why I would want to know what people are doing every minute of the day.  I found that it keeps me up to speed on the news and on the things I am interested in and passionate about.  Secondly, it is difficult for the boys and I to go out and buy everything we need so I order an absolute ton of stuff from Amazon.  Lastly, technology brought me to blogging.  My goal which I am sharing with you is that I want to blog more frequently, even short bursts, hopefully daily.  I have been able to read other people’s blogs, which has inspired me to reach for my dreams even if they are far off for now.  We do the best we can with what we have and yes, as my husband has been accusing me of, I have snorted the Apple dust.

The early bird gets the worm

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How many parts of our days are really quiet? No TV, loud music, phones ringing or people talking. Unless you live in a remote part of the countryside or another planet, there is not much silence in our daily lives.

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Silence. Some of us long for it, and some of us fear it (my thoughts can drive me nuts at times). I long for it and I have for years, especially as my sons’ care has become more demanding. I use the hours of the early morning to sit in silence while I sip my fresh ground coffee. I try to make a conscious connection with God as I pray and read His word. In the summer, it’s nice to feel the cool air on my skin before the sun comes up and heats it all up. I used to hear a bird, a killdeer, every morning at 4:30. My favorite birds to hear in the wee hours of the morning are mourning doves.

Here’s the problem – the snooze bar. The snooze bar has become my enemy and I have let it rob me of these precious, early morning moments, and it often ruins my morning. As a caregiver, I need to have something to give to my sons when I get them up and without my fill of early morning time with God, I end up beginning the day on an empty tank. Admittedly, I hit the snooze bar at least once during the night (my sons have to be turned and repositioned) and numerous times in the morning. The sleep I end up getting is worthless because I am waking up every 7 to 9 minutes. Here’s the kicker – my alarm clock is not next to my bed. That’s right, I have to hop out of bed to hit snooze and that doesn’t stop me. Why are habits so ruthless?

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Life is precious – every moment, every hug and every smile from my loved ones. I don’t want to waste another minute of it because I was a grumpy butt from not taking silent time before sunrise. I know it sounds crazy but it really does work. My days are much smoother and I am not as tired when I am up before the birds. We should all have a little time to ourselves in the morning – to reflect, pray, slowly sip some coffee, take a longer shower, whatever. I will conclude with a short, but powerful quote.

The morning breeze has secrets to tell you, don’t go back to sleep.
~ Rumi

Never stop reaching for the sky!

Never stop reaching for the sky!

I’m baaack! I must admit, I was pretty shocked when I noticed how long it had been since I lasted posted. I convinced myself that I did not have time and did not need to write in my blog. It is amazing how if we tell ourselves something enough times, we will really start to believe it. A phrase I have seen many times states that “we become what we think about”. Our attitude really does make our world. It can make or break our day.

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I have recently joined the gym after wanting to go back for several years. It was humbling after my first workout. I ended up very sore and tired. With anything new, it’s easy to fall prey to fearful thoughts. I payed for an entire year up front and I have asked myself several times if that was a mistake. I have been in the same routine for so long that it has become a rut. I spent so many days at a time at home caregiving, cleaning etc. that when I actually did get out, I was a little shocked.

The truth is, I need the exercise, we all do. It keeps us strong and less prone to injury and combats depression and anxiety. I know it will improve my life so long as I keep on keeping on! As I continue on this journey, doors will open, opportunities will present themselves and the walls I have built up will begin to fall.

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The best thing we can do

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We cannot give away what we have not first received. We must be gentle and kind to ourselves before we can be with others. We have to be patient with ourselves and our own progress before we can be patient and understanding with everyone else. We must give our all to God and to ourselves before we can give our all to everything we set out to do. Lets make sure we do at least one thing everyday that we can feel really good about, whether its writing a letter, going to a coffee shop to read and relax, or having our nails or hair done.

The truth is, before we can do anything worthwhile, we must first love ourselves, hug ourselves; make peace a part of our everyday lives. Let’s stop feeling like we are doing something wrong or that there is something wrong with us because no matter what we do or how hard we try, someone will always be unhappy.

Burned toast

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I am one of those people who cannot drive or walk while doing something else.  Like a dummy, I was walking down my basement stairs and looking at a calendar.  Next thing I knew, my feet slipped and I fell down a couple stairs and landed on the bottom.  I hurt a little so I took some ibuprofen and went to bed.  Everything was fine until a couple days later.  Searing pain up and down my left leg, swelling and twitching all over my leg.  This was almost a couple weeks ago and I am still in pain. Most of it is from the MD but just as equally to blame is my lack of self care.

This has been a real eye opener for me.  Honestly, it scared me into wondering how long I can continue taking care of the boys.  I want to last, I really do, and I most certainly will not at this pace.  It’s only a matter of time.

What to do.  What to do.  I am pretty sure the house will not be condemned if it is not spotless and we will always have clothes to wear if I get behind in the wash.

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Fear is what keeps me from letting things go and taking care of myself first – making sure I take time each day to work towards my goals and dreams.  We must have faith that so long as we do our very best, God will handle the rest.  Truth is, I am of no use to God or my loved ones if I am toast.

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In order to love others, we must be filled with God’s love.  In order to properly care for those we love, we must first take care of ourselves.  I must do it for God, myself, my loved ones and the world.  How much more beautiful would our world be if we would stop running ourselves ragged, pumped by our anxieties and fears?  Very beautiful indeed!

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Finding the way back

My husband has been asking me how long it has been since I posted to my blog. I realized that it been a little while. I did something so many of us easily do and that is to get caught up in life. I stopped making myself a priority and it was all downhill from there. It is crazy how easy it was to convince myself that I would be able to take some downtime after this load of wash or tonight after dinner only for it to be shoved under the rug. The truth is, there will always be a load of clothes needing to be washed and there will always be dirt to sweep up, but the opportunity that was brushed aside so I could do just one more thing will not always be there. That reminds me of Columbo, who always turned around to face his suspect or witness to say “just one more thing”.

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Iyanla Vanzant, in a devotional book I have, said that we must live by the Universal Order of things: God, me, family and friends, then work. I have found this to be easier said than done but well worth it when I have followed it. What stops me from prioritizing? Fear of losing control? Did I ever have control in the first place?

The boys had a follow up appointment at the cardiologist and we found out that Christian’s heart has worsened some. This was expected but painful to hear. I figure I have two options. One is to roll over and live in fear and the other is to make the most of each day, each moment and to never stop hoping, loving and praying.

There are numerous verses throughout God’s Word that instruct us to lean on him for strength. That we must do the best we can at what we do and let Him handle the rest. Anxiety and stress only keep God from helping us. He wants us to live the good life and to love and love some more!

It is important to MAKE the time to do the things we enjoy. We will feel better and our families will thank us!

Battleborn

Ever since the tragedy in Connecticut, I have felt lost, betrayed, sad, anxious and in other ways that I have trouble finding words to describe.  I am sure many of us feel this way.  I have been unsure of what to post until a few minutes ago when Battleborn by The Killers came on while I was finishing up the dishes.  I stopped mid track to really listen to the lyrics:

You lost faith in the human spirit

You walk around like a ghost

Your star-spangled heart

Took a train for the coast

This is exactly how I have felt at times.  Anyone else?  How about:

When you shine you’re a hilltop mansion

So how’d you lose the light?

Was it blown by the wind,

In the still of the night?

I have felt like my light has been blown out and I caught myself cursing the darkness last evening when I went on a rant about guns.  All it did was make me more upset.  Cursing the darkness is futile, wasteful thinking and speaking.  The song goes on to say “We’re up against the wall” and this is good:

When they knock you down

You’re gonna get back on your feet

In the community where this tragedy took place, in the state of Connecticut, and in our country, we will be there for each other and we will get back on our feet!  And finally:

When they break your heart

When they cause your soul to mourn

Remember what I said

Boy you was battle born

This tragedy broke our hearts and we grieve for the little ones, teachers and principle and their families and the entire community.  We need to remember that we are battle born.  We will never stop loving one another, caring and reaching out.  We are strong and will never back down against the evil and injustice in this world!

Check out this song on Grooveshark or Spotify and listen along and see if it doesn’t make you want to get up and shine your light instead of cursing the darkness!

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